To Chance with Hell (Planescape)
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The Sodkillers: If Brute Force Doesn’t Work, Apply More
The Sodkillers are of a mind that any dilemma can be resolved with force. Might makes right. And since they see themselves as being mighty, they see themselves as being right. The more cynical of the Mercykillers (or simply the meaner ones) who didn‘t think that the Sons of Mercy‘s way would work decided if Arwyl Swan‘s Son was going to revive an old faction, so were they. This time they wouldn‘t make the mistake of sharing the reins of power with anyone, much less annoying idealistic do-gooders like the Sons of Mercy. Now they hire themselves out as mercenaries, proving their philosophy works. They‘ve already cemented themselves in Sigil behind the cover of the Minder‘s Guild, biding their time until the factions regain their status. When that time comes, they‘ll seize their goals with all of their might until they have everything they want in their grasp.
Philosophy: Might makes right.
Nicknames: Brutes, Sellswords.
Home Location: Vorkehan in Acheron. The Tower of the Wyrm in Sigil.
Factol: Nijul P‘iuy
Prominent Members: Grubby Garrin, Tall Tally, Nagaro, Coirosis
Alignment: Any non-good, non-chaotic.
Symbol: A rust-red colored fist on a blood-red-colored disc, surrounded by a border of green serpents.
Related skills: Athletics, Intimidate. A player may start the game with skill focus with either skill if they choose not to pick a skill related to being a Primer, or Planar.
Faction bonuses with the Sodkillers will confer abilities such as:
- Those that allow the member to deal more damage in combat
- Those that apply penalties to their enemies
- Those that give members bonuses to hide and surprise enemies
The Philosophy of the Sodkillers
Might makes right, that about sums up the Sodkillers‘ beliefs. If there‘s something you want, take it by force. If there‘s someone bothering you, bash them about a bit. If you don‘t like someone‘s smile, why tell them about it when you can just punch them in the face? If a body keeps smiling after that, maybe he has a good reason, or a physical defect.
Not everyone is quite that violent, and most aren‘t that indiscriminate in where they aim their force. Fact is, while a lot of the criminals released from the prison during the Faction War are now members, there are even more members that just want to see people get punished for doing what they personally believe is the wrong thing. A lot of ex-Mercykillers who see the Sons of Mercy as softies join up just because they want to continue Mercykiller beliefs as they saw them. Sodkillers, more often than not, are neutral, not evil. And they don‘t (for the most part) just go around bashing everyone they see for some perceived slight. That‘s too chaotic for these champions of justice. Even the evil ones still see themselves as upholding the justice they held as their ideal before the Faction War. And the criminals have joined because they were won over by Mercykiller beliefs while in the prison (mostly anyway).
Nonetheless, good folk won‘t find much of a place in this organization, as they are essentially a freelance mercenary group. When they get a contract from a higher-up, they do it, because the higher-up wouldn‘t have accepted it if it wasn‘t just in his eyes. The Sons of Mercy‘s dedication to good seems perverted and twisted to a lot of Sodkillers. They don‘t see themselves as evil, only dedicated to “real justice” which shouldn‘t be clouded by either good or evil. Of course, with the fact that the good ex- Mercykillers all went over to the Sons of Mercy, the Sodkillers are becoming more and more a faction of personal justice instead of real justice.
However, conformity is a fundamental faction principle, and the new Sodkiller factol (a former Justiciar) is trying to eradicate all traces of personal bias in the translation of Truth, Law and Justice. Chances are, she‘ll be highly successful. The Sodkillers are accepting of anyone who is willing to raise a weapon for justice, assuming they don‘t pause and whine at every individual case like the Sons of Mercy. Mercy is for the weak, and as everyone knows, Sodkillers are all about strength.
The faction‘s message is popular and gaining a lot of power for three reasons. One, it‘s simple. You don‘t have to wrap your head around believing in nothing, or not believing in anything (which is somehow different than believing in nothing) or believing in Law or Chaos or Good or Evil. You just have to believe that there is justice, and that you will mete out that justice where you see it needed.
Two, with the sudden vacuum left two years ago by the departure of the Harmonium and the Guvners, people realized they could police themselves. And what better way to do that than to join up with people who only want what‘s best for justice?
Three, the Sodkillers are effective at what they do through the Minder‘s Guild, and have been since day one. Everyone can see that. The Sons of Mercy, on the other hand, are only just starting to get on their feet. While both represent justice, only one seems to work with any level of efficiency. Simple, just, and effective. No preaching – results people can see and solid pay all attract more people than the Sodkillers need. And all they had to do was flex a little muscle. Proof of their philosophy in action. Might makes right, say the Sodkillers, and it seems that there is little argument.
When the Great Upheaval occurred over six centuries ago, the Sodkillers were not very popular, and the Sons of Mercy were not very strong. When they combined into one faction, they solidified their chances of surviving. The Sodkillers gave up mercenary work to carry out punishments of the guilty alongside the Sons of Mercy. Both began seeing things in different lights; the Sodkillers realized that just bashing heads without a little mercy and consideration for the innocent wouldn‘t improve things, and the Sons of Mercy soon learned that bashing a few heads straightened out the people mercy did nothing for. Over time the two groups lost all distinction, and became the Mercykillers.
As time passed the Mercykillers‘ beliefs grew away from those of their predecessors, and while all members agreed the faction‘s methods were effective, some began to wonder if they had lost their true focus. Finally, during the height of the Faction War, the Mercykillers began to fall apart, with Alisohn Nilesia gone without a trace and brother turning against brother. Arwyl Swan‘s Son rallied together like-minded faction members and declared the Sons of Mercy revived, turning on his former comrades and their way of life in disdain. In response, a group of around two dozen of Nilesia‘s personal guards worked around the clock with little to no sleep (which they were quite used to, being as Nilesia slept very little as well) to recruit all of the members they felt would be willing to revive old Sodkiller practices. As it turned out, with the infighting and bloodshed that had already spread throughout the city, there were a good number of folk interested in enforcing a little might. The majority of surviving Mercykillers gravitated towards the new Sodkillers, making it one of the largest organizations left in Sigil.
In a place where celestials and fiends walk down the same streets, people easily became jaded and cynical about concepts of good and evil. Justice was always something that mattered to the common folk, though, and the Sodkillers offered a way to justify the things they did and eradicate what they thought was wrong. The Sons of Mercy, on the other hand, led by some clueless purple prime paladin or whatever with an idealistic view of unified good as justice for all, wasn‘t about to win over the hardened populace of Sigil.
The Sodkillers ranks swelled, and they took up residence in the Tower of the Wyrm. They started off by selling truth potions at ridiculously low prices to encourage repeat customers as well as to foster more truth in the general populace. At the time, the Sons of Mercy commended the Sodkillers highly for their actions, but shortly after the demand increased the Sodkillers raised their prices and began to hoard as much profit as they could. Using the original profits to form the Minder‘s Guild, the faction turned to mercenary work as their main source of income. Now they are making enough profit to make a Taker envious. The Sodkillers are gaining more converts and more power every day, and if (to a Sodkiller that‘s “when”) the factions are allowed back in Sigil, they‘re ready to seize as much power as they can. Chances are, Sigil will be a battleground at least once more before factions are allowed back in anyway, and chances are, it‘ll be the Sodkillers‘ fault.
Shortly after forming the Sodkillers established a guild in Sigil called the Minder‘s Guild which makes up the bulk of their business as a front for people to hire them as mercenaries. They act as bounty hunters, and now (unlike before the Faction War) they can act as judge, jury, and executioner without having to worry about the Hardheads or Guvners breathing down their necks about proper trials. The Sodkillers are quickly moving their way into positions of power throughout the city, without wasting effort on subtlety or tact. So far, this no-nonsense approach to politics has been very effective at garnering public support in the wake of the Lady‘s Edict. While all this “forcing” business may get on people‘s nerves as Sigil begins to settle, for now the Sodkillers are enjoying an ego-tripping power grab that doesn‘t let too much slip through their fingers.
Meanwhile in Vorkehan, a rogue army of ragtag petitioners, planar mercenaries, achaierai (bird-like creatures native to Acheron), and various rust creatures attacked from below, rusting the roots of the city from within the cube. The army, led by an achaierai named Mnarknak and an elder wyrm rust dragon named Patynara, thought by attacking right in the middle of the Faction War they could gain the upper hand over the Mercykillers there, who were currently locked in divisive struggle between the older Mercykillers and the new Sodkillers. However, the attack only solidified the Sodkillers‘ position by prompting the remaining Mercykillers to sign on with the new faction. Though Mnarknak and Patynara escaped, the area is now firmly in the control of the Sodkillers. In addition, Coirosis, an ancient rust dragon, became a Sodkiller within weeks of the attack on Vorkehan, and the Sodkillers now have complete access to the Mines of Marsellin, where a treasure trove of great war machines is lying frozen in iron. Thus, the Sodkillers are trying to convert bladelings and other creatures immune to the plane‘s effects to the faction so they can get access to the treasure there without becoming a part of it.
No one really likes the Sodkillers right now, except those with no faction who don‘t care that the Sodkillers are making power grabs all over the place. They view other factions as weaklings, nuisances, or direct threats to their power.
There are many people who dislike the Sodkillers, but their only real enemies seem to be the Sons of Mercy and the Harmonium, who both view the Sodkillers as a threat to the greater good. The Xaositects and the Revolutionary League work against the Sodkillers‘ interpretation of justice, and neither cares too much for the Sodkillers growing system of enforcement. Active resistance is light so far, as the Sodkillers operate mostly within Sigil, but hostilities are mounting.